Two Days Before the Day After Tomorrow

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"Two Days Before the Day After Tomorrow"
South Park episode
Episode no. Season 9
Episode 8
Directed by Trey Parker
Written by Trey Parker
Kenny Hotz
Production code 908
Original air date October 19, 2005
Episode chronology
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South Park (season 9)
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"Two Days Before the Day After Tomorrow" is the eighth episode in the ninth season of the American animated television series South Park. The 133rd overall episode overall, it originally aired on Comedy Central in the United States on October 19, 2005.[1] In the episode, Stan and Cartman accidentally destroy a dam, causing the town of Beaverton to be destroyed.

The episode was co-written by series co-creator Trey Parker and Kenny Hotz. It parodies the film The Day After Tomorrow, and also general responses to Hurricane Katrina, particularly the various ad hoc explanations for the increased level of suffering from the hurricane and its aftermath.[1]

Plot[edit]

Stan and Cartman are playing in a boat that Cartman claims is his uncle's when Cartman dares Stan to drive the boat, claiming he will take the blame if trouble arises. However, as Stan does not know how to drive a boat, they crash into the world's largest beaver dam, flooding the town of Beaverton. Stan and Cartman try to hide their involvement by maintaining complete silence about the incident.

Meanwhile, the flood has a worse outcome than Stan expected. The people of Beaverton are in a state of disaster. Nobody tries to help the situation; instead, everybody would rather figure out who is to blame. At a conference at the Governor's office with top Colorado scientists and government officials, they all declare that the disaster is the result of global warming. At first, it is determined the full effects will take place on "the day after tomorrow". However, some scientists suddenly burst in and state that it has been proven that the disaster will take place "two days before the day after tomorrow".

The declaration of the scientists causes mass hysteria, and everybody runs from "global warming". Most of the South Park people crowd in the community center. Randy persistently states that global warming is causing an ice age outside that would kill them if they left.

Stan admits to Kyle that he and Cartman were the cause of the Beaverton flood (although Stan takes most of the blame). The trio then set off to rescue the people by boat. The attempt is a disaster in itself, as they wind up crashing into an oil refinery, compounding the problems of the stranded people who now must deal with drowning and fire. Meanwhile, Randy, Gerald, and Stephen brave the supposed ice age to find their sons, dressed in arctic weather gear despite the mild weather; they end up collapsing in the street due to heat exhaustion and dehydration.

At this point the Army comes to rescue the boys with a helicopter. Back at the town, everyone exits the shelter, and the Army claims that the Crab People are responsible. Stan finally admits that he broke the dam, but one of the townspeople incorrectly interprets his admission as a lesson to stop the town trying to find blame; they all begin to admit "I broke the dam", while Stan tries unsuccessfully to explain that he actually did it.

Cultural references[edit]

This episode parodies the response to Hurricane Katrina, particularly the various ad hoc explanations for the increased level of suffering from the hurricane and its aftermath.[1] In addition, the episode parodies the misplaced anger and unwillingness to negotiate between all the parties in the Katrina relief effort, the distorted media coverage that occurred during the hurricane's aftermath, and the Houston mass evacuation during Hurricane Rita.[2] For instance, when the people conclude that George Bush was the cause of the beaver dam being broken, someone says "George Bush doesn't care about beavers!" in a parody of Kanye West's quote, "George Bush doesn't care about black people."[3][4] In addition, during the evacuation, only white people are rescued, while a black man can be seen left stranded. This references the accusations of selectively racist rescue efforts and media coverage during the Hurricane Katrina crisis.[5][6]

"Two Days Before the Day After Tomorrow" also parodies the film The Day After Tomorrow, and general responses to global warming. For instance, the scene where Stan calls his father on the phone while the water level rises is a reference to a similar scene in The Day After Tomorrow where Sam calls his father while trying to outlast the fatal coldness.[2] The final scene where everyone says "I broke the dam" is a reference to the film Spartacus where the title character comes forward as Spartacus, and the slave-crowd all claim to be Spartacus in an effort to protect him.[1]

The scene in which Cartman confronts Kyle over his "Jew Gold", in the flooded fuel factory, is a reference to the final scene of the movie Marathon Man in which a fugitive Nazi war criminal confronts a detective who has taken his diamonds, stolen from Holocaust victims, and is preventing the Nazi from cashing in on them.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Two Days Before the Day After Tomorrow". South Park Studios. 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-06. 
  2. ^ a b Keith, M. (2006). Drawn to television: prime-time animation from the Flintstones to Family guy. reenwood Publishing Group. p. 149. ISBN 9780275990190. 
  3. ^ de Moraes, Lisa (2005-09-03). "Kanye West's Torrent of Criticism, Live on NBC". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-09-01. 
  4. ^ Giles, Nancy (2005-10-04). "What If They Were White?". CBS News Sunday Morning. CBS News. Retrieved 2008-08-31. 
  5. ^ Stratyner, Leslie; James R. Keller (2009). Leslie Stratyner, ed. Title The Deep End of South Park: Critical Essays on Television's Shocking Cartoon Series. McFarland. ISBN 9780786443079. Retrieved 8-6-09.  horizontal tab character in |title= at position 6 (help); Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  6. ^ "Updated Number of Deceased Victims Recovered Following Hurricane Katrina". Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals. December 9, 2005. Retrieved 2006-08-01. 

External links[edit]